The development of ‘smart’ textiles is probably the biggest thing to hit the fashion world since blue jeans exploded onto the scene.
Have you heard about Fart eating undies, and Odor eating panties? Trust me I am a very honest person. I would not make this up. This is not something out of a Austin Powers movie. Not only are the fart eating undies a reality, the guy who got the idea and developed it even won the Nobel Prize for his work on these undies. This is the real deal.
I have been boning up recently about developments happening in the textile world. Technology embedded fabrics which double as mobile phones, clothes that light up, dresses that Tweet – unbelievable as it sounds all these things are either available now or in the pipeline.
Welcome to the world of smart fabrics. This is huge. Smart textiles designed into smart clothes. Clothes to keep you warm when it is cold, clothes to cool you down when it is hot. Clothes with anti- bacterial properties embedded in the material.
Wearable technology – some of the smart clothes that are coming onto the market are so smart that you might be forgiven for thinking that the dress you are wearing may have an IQ higher than your own. How scary is that?
ABC radio Australia recently broadcast a program about ‘smart fashion’. Reporter, Rebecca Martin, talked about the next generation of textiles. She says that fabrics have become an arena for competition for scientists around the world. The race is on for scientists all around the world to be the first to develop new technology using fabric as a medium.
Fart eating undies
But back to the Fart eating undies. American inventor Buck Wiemer developed a pair of panties that filter out the smell of farts from the wearer. He says he designed the underpants for his wife who suffers from Crohns disease which rendered her unable to control her gassy emissions. The underpants are made of plastic, leaving no place for gases to exit other than through a strategically placed triangular pocket. Smelly gases are filtered out as they pass through a piece of carbon placed inside the pocket, making the wind easier on the nose on the other side. Hmm. Could be helpful for some people I know!
And then there are the ‘Odor Eaters’. Fabrics treated to address odors may make personal hygiene issues a thing of the past. Fabrics are being treated with all sorts of substances. For example fabrics treated with anti-bacterial treatments are becoming more common. In fact underwear seems to be at the forefront of this revolution in textile design.
Junor Campbell, design and development manager for Mountain Designs, says that materials treated with silver are giving the best result. For example, with thermal underwear, Campbell points out that wearers might be wearing the underwear for several days with resulting odor problems. He says that even if the materials have had anti- bacterial treatment this tends to wash out. But by adding silver to the fabric the same effect is gained, but it is permanent.
It sounds very complicated, but it’s all about to get a lot more technical. When you bought your last pair of undies you probably looked at its washability and its price tag. In the not too distant future it appears there will be a lot more to look out for.